For Immediate Release

Sept. 30, 2011


VICTORIA — The Liberal government must put the implementation of the smart meter program on hold until a full independent review can be completed, said New Democrat energy critic John Horgan.

“We’ve had serious concerns from the beginning that this is a billion dollars wasted on a bad idea. With the Union of B.C. Municipalities voting in favour of a moratorium this morning, it’s clearly time the Liberal government started listening to communities and to ratepayers,” said Horgan.

“This vote at the UBCM tells me communities around the province are hearing the same concerns I am, but this arrogant Liberal government just won’t listen,” said Horgan, noting the energy minister announced the program would move forward regardless of how the UBCM vote went.

The Liberals have mandated the replacement of analog hydro meters with new digital “smart” meters on every home in the province by the end of 2012 at a cost of nearly a billion dollars.

“It is time for the Liberals to stop thinking they know what’s best and start listening to the people they are supposed to be working for. Let’s use the independent review process we have in place at the B.C. Utilities Commission to take a look at all the unanswered questions about smart meters,” said Horgan.

Horgan pointed out that the Liberals have removed independent BCUC oversight for $12 billion worth of spending at B.C.Hydro, opening to the floodgates to massive spending without public accountability.

“Simply put, the Liberals have made a mess of B.C. Hydro with all their meddling and wrong-headed decision making. Their own review panel found that Liberal policies are costing ratepayers millions of dollars unnecessarily, proving they have no business micro-managing B.C. Hydro.

Adrian Dix and the New Democrats are calling for more accountability at B.C. Hydro by restoring the function of the independent B.C. Utilities Commission to fully review all spending and programs, including the smart meter program.

Media Contact: Mike Lowe  250-886-7064